Does rice grow on trees?

Does rice grow on trees?
Highlights

Does Rice Grow On Trees? Resorts, water parks and amusement parks are usually what city children are familiar with. But quiz them on anything connected with nature and they draw a blank.

This question posed by a youngster got Hyderabadi youngsters Ram Devari and Vangala Deepthi Reddy to take city people on farm trips.

Resorts, water parks and amusement parks are usually what city children are familiar with. But quiz them on anything connected with nature and they draw a blank. However, thanks to the initiative of two young Hyderabadis, these days, Facebook posts of children are full of pictures of them having fun while sowing seeds and posing with crops and fruits in the farm.

A brainchild of Vangala Deepthi Reddy, Farm Tours was launched on March 3 this year to enhance farm economy and bridge the urban-rural gap by promoting unique farm tours.

Deepti, a horticulture graduate from Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU), has worked as an eco consultant with grassroots level farm projects and NGOs. Her corporate exposure came through a few CSR projects, green venture ideas, and eco networking meets. Struck by the huge farmer-consumer gap, she decided to start Farm Tours which focuses on rural/village ecosystem and brings about awareness among people, especially children as to how food is grown.

“Once a kid asked me this question – ‘Does rice grow on trees?’ Also, I observed many people going to luxury resorts and hogging on unhealthy food. I felt that city people needed more avenues to go out for a healthy outing. It struck me that farm visits would educate children about crops and vegetables and would also be a healthy hangout for adults,” says Deepti.

Sharing how Ram Devari, CEO of the company, has helped her make her green idea a reality, Deepthi says, “I shared the idea with him and he was all game for it. My past experience in farm consultancy and organising a few eco tours was enough to make the concept work.”

Since their inception, the duo has arranged for tours to organic farms, floriculture farms, permaculture farms and mango farms. Organic farms are usually the most preferred tours for them as they increase awareness on growing food crops without using chemicals. In addition, such trips help farmers and consumers know each other.

The farm visit includes a walk in the farm which is within a 150 km radius of the city, a farmer briefing about the farm, bullock cart rides, learning about organic/natural farming, getting a taste of organic beverages and food. “Tourists love the feeling of being a farmer for the day. They also sow seeds and harvest crops.”

“We also have included concepts like tribal farm tours, village tours, biodynamic farm tours, and forest farming, recently to the list,” says Ram when asked about their future plans. In the coming academic year, we will be arranging trips for students too. We are working our way to it.”

To be a part of a tour, contact [email protected] or register at www.farmtour.in. For details contact, 9030051235 or 04064100253.

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